With the increase in global competition and vagaries in the existing market
structure, businesses are constantly vying against each other, obfuscating from
all moral and ethical practices. Taking advantage of this, small businesses that
are willing to unfurl their goals in large, are now veering towards an unethical
exercise of trademark infringement, where they are illegally engaging themselves
in unauthorized use of a trademark or a service mark.
Riding on the crest of
successfully established companies, these small businesses are honing an
atmosphere of deception, confusion and are casting profound wreckage on the
products manufactured by those companies. The repercussions of the same can be
manifold and pernicious.
Over the past few years, the unscrupulous exercise of trademark infringement has
been on a startling surge and the courts are constantly striving to reduce these
incorrigible exercises. A registered trademark is a symbol, word, or combination
that represents a company or a product and differentiates it in the market.
However, when a person or a company who is not authorized by the owner of the
registered trademark, uses and violates that trademark, constitutes a situation
of trademark infringement. A legal panacea to the breach of the trademark is
available with the proprietor of the registered trademark, who can take legal
action against the delinquent person or a business.
The primary function of the trademark is to distinguish the goods or services
of one undertaking from those of other undertakings and hence to maintain the
essence of its purposes, it is important to assuage the malpractices hovering in
its domain. This research attempts to discern the conscienceless exercise of
trademark infringement and endeavors to analyze its repercussions on the
companies/business affected and concludes with gauging solutions to recuperate
the impacted business/owner.
How does trademark infringement impact businesses with a registered trademark?
Trademark infringement, as unruly as it may sound, can also emanate deleterious
effects for both the businesses with a registered trademark and the society at
large, in multifarious ways. The purpose of a trademark is to isolate the
distinctiveness of a product or service from that of the others, and when it is
being violated by illegal infringements, it can be searingly deceptive and
A business that has established a good reputation because of its goods and
services which imbibes a trademark associated with those goods and services,
will have its reputation tarnished if another company uses that trademark in a
way that sways away from the customers of businesses owing to that trademark or
by manufacturing low-quality products, that will slander the reputation of those
established businesses. 
The harm caused by trademark infringement is realized by several courts in many
landmark cases. For instance, in an infamous case of Pappan Enters. v. Hardee's
, it was held that - "once the likelihood of confusion caused by
trademark infringement has been established, the inescapable conclusion is that
there was also irreparable injury." 
Calling trademark infringement damage as
irreparable, the court significantly portends to insurmountable wreckage caused
to the reputation of a company, leading to a huge loss of customers, in turn
slashing its marketing objectives and capitalization. To recover from reputational damage, may take a spate of years or could permanently crack the
edifices of that business.
Furthermore, in McDonald's Corp. v. Robertson
, it was found that:
damage to reputation and loss of customers caused by the unauthorized
distribution of inferior products presents incalculable damages and thus
The judgment furthers the belief of irreparable harm to a
business and recognizes that reputational damages for a company cast a spell on
its growth and stymies its perseverance to regain its foothold in the capital
Thus, it can be said that lost sales and monetary impairments are the main
damages for a company whose reputation has been tainted. In addition to this,
harm can also be caused to the consumers, as they are exposed to goods of
depleted quality, extending a perilous situation in society. 
Many theories abnegate the irreparable harm
notion pronounced by the courts in
the following cases, however, the issue renders moot. Whether irreparable or
reparable, reputational damage is difficult to retrieve and causes serious
ignominy to an established industry.
How can trademark infringement be receded?
World Intellectual Property Indicators Report stipulates that in the year
2018-19, eight of the 10 companies experienced trademark infringement.
Reckoning the percentages, it can be stated that, approximately 74.02% surge
has been witnessed in the cases relating with trademark infringement, in the
years 2018-20 from in and around the world. In addition, forty percent of
respondents said they had experienced 1-10 cases of infringement, while 22%
The plausible explanation for this upsurge can be directly linked to the
overgrowing competition in the market globally. In spite, of maliciously carved
out intentions of small businesses, another reason that could be a probable
cause for the mounting of cases can be the copious amount of registration of
trademarks by companies. 
To explain this point, the increasing number of
trademarks being registered and the fact that businesses often fail to carry out
the requisite clearance searches and checks before launching a new brand or
applying to register that new brand as a trademark, leads to trademark
infringement. When a higher number of trademarks are registered, the
possibility of accidentally infringing an existing mark will also increase.
Having said that, the questions stand aloft as to how the unprincipled exercise
of trademark infringement by companies can be allayed. Of course, after being
demystified with the infringement, the impacted company needs to approach the
legal entities to represent their case in a lawsuit for their enforcement of the
rights infringed. Legal action can endow a legal remedy in the form of monetary
compensation, or a court-ordered injunction and can order forfeiture or
destruction of the infringing goods.
In addition to the available legal remedies, it becomes incumbent upon the
companies with a registered trademark to adopt the practice of Trademark
. Most often, companies producing or manufacturing a good or
service become remiss in their approach to identify counterfeited products
manufactured in their names which ultimately leads to reputational damage at the
later stages. A conscious and proactive business is often necessary to avert the
infringement and hence, it is important that the trademark monitoring must be
effectuated to ensure due diligence and to prevent severe reputational damages.
Also, several studies have observed that improvements in technology can also
reduce trademark infringements. Often glitches are made during the
registration of a trademark, which can confuse further increasing the chances of
For instance, a company that has a particular logo C
and another company that has a logo as an inverted D undergo registration for
trademarks, however, due to inadequate technology and bugs therewith, the
parallel line constituting D is removed from the logo of the other company, both
logos are thus similar, resulting in an inevitable trademark infringement.
Hence, ensuring a technology that is in the state of the art, must be preferred.
While there are recourses available to the companies, it is important to
inculcate ethical marketing practices, to ensure the interests of businesses in
every possible way.
When globalization is rife, the owners of the businesses must be prudent and
must protect the goodwill of their brands, and must be prompt in their actions
to report any decadence. Registration of trademarks acts as a bulwark for the
corrupted businesses and stymies with their agenda of infringements.
trade practices must be the state of the art and nations across the world must
thrive to inculcate policies that deter piracies and passing offs. The
consortium of pertinent legislation and policies along with ethical business
practice will put a stall on the unprincipled trademark infringement by
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Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Anchita Saxena
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